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Entrepreneurs: 8 Tips for Telling Your Hero Story

If you are an entrepreneur, a salesperson, a comic, or a speaker, there is a story that you need to know and tell.  It's the story that will engage your audience, make them laugh, and motivate them to buy your products and services. What is this amazing story? It is the story of why what you do isn't just a job... but a calling. It is your HERO STORYRead more on Psychology Today... 

How Being Funny Can Save You Money

Having a sense of humor can save you money. I learned that while working as a comic. Open mic nights aren’t as good for fattening up your bank account, which can truly be a sad joke. Self-made millionaires have said (not to me personally) that dramatically cutting expenses increases one’s income. I’ve found out that when you make someone laugh, they feel positively toward you and are more likely to have your back and make cuts in your favor... Read more.. 

3 Speaking Tips From Oscar Winners: Legendary speeches at Oscars 2015

Were the Oscars taken over by motivational speakers this year?  Is John Legend the next Tony Robbins? Judging by the results, it certainly seems so.

Rather than giving mindless thank yous, this year’s winners shared MESSAGES. You can change the world in less than one minute, and speakers can definitely learn a thing or two from this.
TIP ONE: Have a call-to-action – A call-to-action is an instruction to the audience to do something. At the end of J.K. Simmons’ emotional acceptance speech, he told the 1 billion plus people watching, “Go call your parents… If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive, call them! Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them! Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you."  Now that’s a powerful call-to-action!
TIP TWO:  Have a point of view – Several winners used their time at the podium to share their feelings on different issues.  Patricia Arquette spoke out for feminism when she declared: “It's our time to have wage equality” as she accepted her Oscar for Boyhood.
Reese Witherspoon echoed my blog “Don’t Waste your Red Carpet Time” (link is external)when she called out Hollywood for ignoring real issues in favor of chat about dresses as part of the #askhermore campaign.
John Legend, who won for Best Song, made a strong statement. “Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now… We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today then were under slavery in 1850.” Wow! I had tears in my eyes.
Best Actor Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) spoke about ALS while Best Actress Julianne Moore (Still Alice) used her time to talk about Alzheimer's.Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu called for respect for Mexican immigrants during his acceptance speech. “We are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.”
TIP THREE: Reveal your own journey from mess to success.  Perhaps no one gave a more powerful speech than Graham Moore, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Imitation Game. He used his time at the podium to give a highly personal speech about suicide awareness and depression. "I tried to commit suicide at 16, and now I'm standing here," he said. "I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along."
Wow! It’s been a long time since the Oscars speeches were as substantial and motivational as this.  Hooray for Hollywood!

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Business Lessons Learned From 50 Shades of Grey

How I stopped being a SLAVE in life and empowered my relationships.     

A friend asked me if I wanted to go see 50 Shades of Grey. On my only free night recovering from a long work week, the LAST thing I want to see is seeing a woman dominated by someone. After all, as an entrepreneur, every day feels as if I’m tied to my computer, whipped by chores, pained by computer glitches, and brought to my knees by the volume of emails—each one screaming me into submission. Why would I pay to see that?
CC BY 2.0
Source: CC BY 2.0
What I long for is to be the one on top of someTHING, which is sometimes better than being on top of someONE. I would like to dominate my inbox, get control of my escalating waistline, or maybe humiliate my dogs to stop peeing on my carpet. My wish is to be the alpha female, which I haven’t accomplished despite several rounds of obedience training. I can’t get my dog to heel or the people who work for me to do what I want, and I’m their boss. I can’t whip anyone into shape.
But, as I ranted to my friend of why I’m not interested in seeing a movie about S&M, I remembered a time, long ago in my 30s, when I was propositioned to enter into an S&M relationship and become a slave. No joke!
Because you don’t know me—picture Jewish girl, president of the 7th grade tropical fish club and 8th grade safety monitor.
Me a slave? This seemed a huge safety violation. I was a nerd. But, I was curious as I asked, “So… how does this work… this slavery thing?”
“Well… we all agree on what is going to be done, and then there is a word we decide on if someone wants to stop.”
And I thought, “OMG! You mean you actually listen and respect someone’s boundaries?”
After all, at that time in my life, I had let both men and women do things to me that I didn’t like, and I didn’t say anything to stop it. Even when my primary care physician inappropriately fondled me—I didn’t say anything. I just sat there frozen wondering, why he had to examine my breasts so thoroughly when I only had a cold?
“What kind of word,” I asked.
“Like ‘Blueberry.’ And this will be in the contract we would write together.”
“Contract? Write together?” I said, “You mean that we would actually communicate what we both want and write it down… with no attorney fees?”
“Yes! These contracts would include what we both expected of each other; what annoys you, such as hair in sink, how often we would have sessions, and a final list of offenses and the agreed upon punishment for each offense. Each offense will have a minimum and maximum number of strokes and a force level associated with it.”
I thought, “Wow! How conscious is this?” I mean, aside from the bruising of ropes, whips, and chains, I usually have been unable to tell someone what I want, yet, just like most women, I’m disappointed if I don’t get what I want. Don’t most women expect our partners to be working psychics?
And… I actually liked the idea of a defined punishment—just six slashes, and it’s over. This seems much better than someone dwelling on something I had done and punishing me for years and bringing it up in front of my business clients at a fancy party.   
I never did enter into that S&M contract. Black is not my color, and pain is not my pleasure. But, it did change me and help me to have better relationships. In future relationships, I got more in tune with my partners as well as asking directly for what I wanted and didn’t want.
“Judy—I need you to pick me up at the airport.” 
I'd like to know—would you ever enter into a relationship like this?

You Are Your Story

You Are Your Story

Someone will tell your life story—at your funeral. Don't you want to tell your OWN story BEFORE then, and tell it well?

Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.